Charlton’s new owners have offered Lee Bowyer a five-year contract to stay at The Valley.

Matt Southall, the club’s new chairman, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon with Bowyer expected to make a decision in the coming days.

Upon confirmation of the club takeover earlier this month, East Street Investments made it their priority to tie Bowyer, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, down to a long-term deal.

“From the outset our intention was a long-term strategy, so with that in mind he’s been offered a five-year deal,” Southall said.

“It gives him the opportunity to grow with us and build with us.

“We’ve offered a five-year deal because I think he’s the person that can be successful at this club.

“Lee is an integral part of why we came into this, he’s young and in 18 months where he’s taken the club, from League One mid-table to here is fantastic, on the resources he’s had!

“Clubs came in for him, it was widely reported, I told him I wanted him to stay, so for me it’s a priority to get it done, and I honestly believe we will sort it out and get it done.”

News Shopper: Matt Southall (pic: Kyle Andrews Photography)Matt Southall (pic: Kyle Andrews Photography)

The news comes as a slight curve-ball to many with Bowyer’s contract expected to be thrashed out after the transfer window, but with the uncertainty over his own future, Bowyer felt it was jeopardising any transfers that could be made this month.  

“He(Bowyer) rightly said, footballers want to know,” Southall continued.

“Lee is at the top of the footballing part of this club, players want to know if he’s only got six-months left, leaving players thiking ‘where does that leave me if I’m committing for 3 years?’

“I get it.

“In an ideal situation we would’ve completed the takeover in October, finalised Lee and Lyle’s contract, then strengthen in January.

“But we are where we are, and getting Lee tied down is my priority.”

The revelation was news to Bowyer, who after jokingly asking for a “ten-year deal with an unlimited budget,” maintained his stance that he wants the best for his boyhood club.

“The most important thing for me is the club move forward, whether it’s with me or someone else, the most important person is a manager for the stability of the club," Bowyer said.

“I want to be part of this journey because we finally have some backing, a Chairman and a group talking positive things and wanting to take this club forward.

“I want to be on that journey.

“I’ve come this far, and I want to be part of the next part, so I’m excited.”

With Southall and Bowyer’s agent attending the weekend’s fixture against West Brom at The Valley, both parties are to negotiate a deal, with Bowyer adding the “sooner (I) sign a deal, the better.”